What Is Lay Pastoral Care?

Sometimes, each of us needs more than words of encouragement or a hug from a friend. Lay Pastoral Care Associates are volunteers from our congregation who are selected, trained, and supervised on a consistent basis by our minister.

Each team member has been trained in compassionate listening and caring presence, and is formally commissioned (or recognized) by the congregation for being part of this important shared ministry. Associates are available for those who would welcome a visit or who are experiencing difficult circumstances, or are encountering a time of transition in which they could use some confidential, non-judgmental, on-going support. The purpose is to provide a sustaining ministry of hope and caring so that congregants need not suffer or struggle alone through life’s hard times.

Lay Pastoral Care Ministry Associates may: visit congregants who are ill at home or in the hospital, support those going through major life transition or crisis, maintain contact with those unable to attend UUC due to illness or disability, support family and friends who are involved in care-giving, comfort the bereaved, etc.

LPMC provides an important branch of our UUC caring network. This program started in April 2012 and is accessible to all congregants at UUC. For more information, read our Lay Pastoral Care Ministry Brochure.

Why does UUC have Lay Pastoral Care Ministry?


Trained lay members providing compassionate, listening presence builds a more loving and vital community. Caring for each other in a conscious way is important to the life of the congregation. The members of the Lay Pastoral Care Team find that time shared with congregants is a blessing to both people in the relationship.

Our minister often meets with people at their homes, at the congregation, and makes hospital visits. Working together, our minister and LPCM form a robust pastoral care ministry serving our community. The purpose of our UUC Pastoral Care network is to ensure that those in need of accompaniment and support have ongoing opportunities for connection when it is needed and appreciated.

If you would like to learn more, or request to be matched with a LPCM Associate, please email LPCM@uucnrv.org. You may also contact our minister directly at minister@uucnrv.org or, to leave a confidential voice message for the minister, please call (540) 552-9716. 




Testimonials from Congregants Who Have Benefitted from Lay Pastoral Care

Congregant 1

The Lay Pastoral Care Ministry team has been helping me for the past three years as I deal with a chronic medical problem. Pastoral Care Associates have visited me in the hospital,. . .  and generally have been a supportive presence. The Lay Pastoral Care program is not only for people who have no one else around to help. I am fortunate to have loving, helpful family in town, live in a cohousing community, and my daughter from California has flown out for some of the procedures. What has been wonderful about the LPC assistance is that I have not needed to worry about their feelings or fears. I can complain and whine and admit that I am frightened, and they take it in stride. What a fine way our Congregation has found to minister to each other! I am immensely grateful.

Congregant 2

The illness, pain, suffering and death of a loved one is the most difficult of life’s passages. I was so fortunate to have the sympathetic ear, loving hugs, and true compassion provided by the Lay Pastoral Care associates.

Sometimes, all that’s needed is the physical presence of a caring person—knowing that you’re not alone. They gave me the courage to do the impossible—to weather the grief and survive. I’m eternally thankful.

Congregant 3

My involvement with Lay Pastoral Care Ministry began in the spring of 2012 when I trained to become an LPC Associate. The community building and instruction in being a listening presence was quite valuable. I have used these skills not only in my work with congregants, but in my relationships with others.

Many months later I found myself asking if an associate can request Lay Pastoral Care. I was matched with a wonderful associate, and for the next several months had visits as often as once a week. It’s amazing the difference it can make just to have someone listen and care.

Sometimes it’s hard to ask for or accept help. We think we should be strong enough not to need anything from anyone. But we all need someone to be there for us at some point, even if it’s just to listen as we sort through our thoughts and feelings. As I went through one of the most difficult times in my life, it was a life saver to have a program like this in place.